Monday, March 8, 2021

My Marital Status Does Not Define Me And Neither Do You




As women, we are often marginalized, but as widowed women, we are even more so.

We are the invisible ones, the others.

Thrust into a role we never asked for or wanted.

We are harshly judged and criticized by many; usually by those who have never experienced such a devastating loss.

There is so much shame in widowhood.

Shame in our grief.

Shame in our brokenness.

Shame in our return to joy.

Shame in our loving again.

Shame in our living.

Either we move on too soon or not soon enough. Never mind we never actually do “move on”, we move forward.

Either we grieve too much or not enough. Never mind that it’s impossible to measure feelings of grief and loss.

I have felt the sting of shame too many times since I was widowed.

I let that judgment push me down.

I even justified my choices and my happiness to those who deserved no explanations from me.

Until I learned a valuable lesson: shame begets shame. When you shame me, you hurt yourself in the process.

I won’t let you use me to feed your own bitterness and negativity.

I won’t allow your ignorance to determine my worth or my belonging.

I won’t betray myself to avoid your criticism.

I won’t hide how I feel or who I am.

I am so done feeling ashamed.

I won’t be ashamed of my grief or my happiness.

I won’t be ashamed of my tears or my laughter.

I won’t be ashamed of my successes or my failures.

I won’t be ashamed for surviving and then thriving.

I won’t be ashamed of living MY life to the fullest.

And I most definitely will never be ashamed of my heart.

This. is. me.

Unabashedly.

Yes, I am a widow.

But my marital status does not define me.

And neither do you.
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